Franklin begins new holiday tradition
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Franklin - posted Fri., Dec. 7, 2012
Last year, for the town’s 225th anniversary, Franklin held a big get-together with a dinner and dancing for residents. “Everyone enjoyed it so much that we wanted to do it again,” said Town Clerk Debbie Beisieger. “We had to come up with another reason to celebrate, so we came up with the tree.” Though surrounding towns had local tree or gazebo-lighting celebrations, Franklin had never had a holiday season event, so someone procured a pine tree, planted it on the grounds of the town complex, and the first annual Franklin tree-lighting celebration was planned.
Just before 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, the complex parking lot was dark and still. But at a few minutes after 5, headlights began to appear in the driveway. Folks arrived, alimentary offerings in hand, to set up for the dinner and prepare for the lighting of the tree. Inside, centerpieces already graced the tables, put together the day before by the local Girl Scout Troop. Mini white lights delineated a small dance floor. Biesieger set out plates, napkins and cutlery at the end of a pair of perpendicular tables. As children ran to greet friends and classmates, a DJ dressed in black sorted through wires, setting up his sound equipment in a corner of the room. The odor of spaghetti sauce and coffee permeated the air.
“Time to head outside,” someone called from a position by the door. The whole group trooped outside, some with flashlights in hand, headed to the top of a small hill near the main road. After a quartet from Chaplin Elementary School performed a selection of holiday songs, the tree was lit and a new tradition was born in the town of Franklin.